Are you interested in francophone economy? Attend the MCCF Agora.

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Leveraging the Francophonie for Economic Development: The Role of Governments

The Ministers’ Council on Canadian Francophonie (MCCF) is an intergovernmental collaborative organization that acts as a catalyst in sectors of importance to Francophone and Acadian communities. Economic development is undoubtedly a multifactorial issue that challenges governments in many ways. The MCCF’s Agora aims to bring together perspectives and identify avenues to explore in order to better support the Francophonie’s contribution to Canada’s prosperity.

Day 1: August 9, 2024

12:00

Opening lunch

13:15

Growth and portrait of the Francophone economic space in Canada

This segment will offer a historical perspective on the Francophone economic space, as well as a concrete portrait of all economic sectors, based on the most recent data available.

With the participation of : 

  • Allister Surette, Chancellor, Université Sainte-Anne 

13:45

Bilingualism: a profitable skill

As evidenced by the large number of enrolments in French immersion programs, Canadians value their official languages. But do they know that bilingualism also promotes economic prosperity? Speaking French is a skill that pays off, but its true potential remains little-known.

With the participation of : 

15:00

French, a language that travels

The presence of bilingual workers is an advantage for the tourism industry, where post-Covid growth confirms a recovery. Both in Canada and abroad, French-speaking tourism is showing great potential. A number of players are making French an asset in their development strategy for sustainable tourism. The industry’s bilingualism could help bring in the capital needed to revamp our tourist attractions.

With the participation of : 

  • Honourable John Streicker, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Yukon
  • Isabelle De Bruyn, Tourism Canada
  • Peggy Somers Feehan, Codofil (Louisiana)

16:00

Culture and GDP

The cultural industry generates more annual revenue than the automotive industry. Yet cultural entrepreneurs have limited access to our traditional economic development tools. Nova Scotia will long benefit from the economic spin-offs generated by the upcoming Congrès mondial acadien in the province. This justifies the government investments that make it possible. In a minority setting, is it possible to broaden the scope of government action beyond high-profile events? What innovative approaches could maximize the economic value of our cultural wealth?

With the participation of : 

  • Honourable Glen Simard, Minister of Sport, Culture, Heritage and Tourism, Manitoba
  • Marie-Christine Morin, Fédération culturelle canadienne-française
  • Anne-Marie Jean, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
  • Blanche Israël, East Coast Music Association
  • Darrel Nadeau, Canadian Museum for Human Rights

17:15

Networking Cocktail

Day 2: August 10, 2024

08:30

Breakfast

9:00

Expanding the labour pool in key sectors

Human capital is an essential element of economic development. The Canadian media regularly report on shortages that seem to persist in a number of economic sectors. How can we ensure the availability of the quality workforce needed for official-language minority communities (OLMCs) to prosper?

With the participation of : 

  • El Iza Mohamedou, OCDE
  • Aurélie Lacassagne, Université de Hearst
  • Rose Cathy Handy, Bilingual Link
  • Alain Dupuis, Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada

10:40

Promoting and supporting Francophone entrepreneurship

Business support is at the heart of government policies to promote economic development, whether through consulting services, low-interest loans, training programs, tax credits or preferential tax treatment in support of innovation. Do these efforts have the desired effect on French-speaking entrepreneurs? Are different efforts needed? What are the best ways to promote entrepreneurship among Francophone youth and newcomers, two populations capable of countering the economic impacts of an aging demographic?

With the participation of : 

  • Roda Muse, Deputy Minister, Francophone Affairs, Ontario
  • Paul Muamba, RDÉÉ Canada
  • Étienne Alary, Parallèle Alberta
  • Julien Geremie, Impact ON

12:00

Lunch

13:00

Expanding the labour pool in key sectors

Human capital is an essential element of economic development. The Canadian media regularly report on shortages that seem to persist in a number of economic sectors. How can we ensure the availability of the quality workforce needed for official-language minority communities (OLMCs) to prosper?

With the participation of : 

  • Jean-François Roberge, Minister Responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie
  • Dominic Mailloux, Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec
  • Charles Milliard, Fédération des gens d’affaires francophones de l’Ontario
  • Carole Freynet-Gagné, AHA Learning

14:00

French, a gateway to new markets

By 2060, the OIF estimates that the number of French speakers will rise from 320 million to over 700 million. Canada’s Francophonie can benefit not only from new Francophone diasporas, but also from foreign investors attracted by a skilled bilingual workforce. What mechanisms are needed to support the development of these new markets? What types of support can we offer Francophone entrepreneurs to ensure that their quest for new markets generates lasting results?

With the participation of : 

  • Karl Blackburn, Alliance des conseils du patronat de la francophonie
  • Sylvain Lavoie, Centre de la francophonie des Amériques

15:15

Conclusion

Past events

Meeting of the Ministers’ Council on the Canadian Francophonie

The next meeting of the Ministers’ Council on the Canadian Francophonie will be held on July 6 and 7, 2023, in Vancouver, British Columbia.